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  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Confessions of a Frontline Occupier of Hong Kong Legco. By Chapman Chen, HKBNews

On the night of July 1st, a group of Hong Kong activists crashed the glass doors of the Hong Kong legislative Council in protest of the Extradition Law. One of the frontline occupiers was a Mr. Tsui in his twenties, an interview of whom was published in Chinese in StandNews on 2019-7-12. Tsui confessed that he has no future, that he is ready to die for the resistance movement and for the young of HK. "We are egg shells who're prepared to be cracked and to charge." He recalled how he became a valiant actionist, going through his experience with the 2014 Umbrella and 2016 Fishball Revolutions. He pointed out that even the Chief Executive Carrie Lam sort of admitted the effectiveness of valiant activism. He recaptured his mixed feelings in storming into the Legco and how he and his comrades damaged only significant symbols inside. "Why should our society force kids, including a 13-year-old, to risk being charged with rioting?!" Tsui asked in agony. Below please find HKBNews' English summary of Tsui's words.

Who are these so-called mobsters or actionists or valiant activists?

I am a so-called valiant activist. We are fearless in speaking out against political injustice; we are frontliners; we are egg shells who're prepared to be cracked and to charge.

Without us who are ready to use physical force to protect other demonstrators, their situation will be even more dangerous; the police will easily crush them or arrest them.

I was a non-violent protester in and before the Umbrella Revolution

I clearly remember that one day during the umbrella Revolution a group of activists tried to charge the legislative Council. A man in black went up the stage and called upon the audience not too accuse the valiant activists anymore. "Those in the front are sacrificing themselves for Hong Kong. It is alright that you do not help them, but how dare you say that they are moles?! If this is Hongkongers democracy, then you will never deserve democracy!"

So as a Form 6 student, I began to think, "Clearly he is not a mole. Why should you boo him and chase him away even if you disagree with him? Clearly they're sacrificing themselves for us."

The Road to Valiant Activism

The Occupy Movement was finally put to an end by the authorities. I thought I would never care about this place again. However, when Edward Leung and Ray Wong's Fishball Revolution took place, it was like a thunderbolt to me. "You don't have to be hopeless; when one way is blocked, try another."

Thus I became an actionist. In each social movement, I moved closer and closer to the frontline until I ended up right there.

After the 2016 umbrella Revolution, you lost the passion to join in any group action you wanted to return to normal life, to work, to go to the cinema, to accompany your family and your lover. But the Lantau Tomorrow Vision woke me up again to action, for it will totally destroy our root.

On the frontline you will come to know a group of people. They won't contact each other on ordinary days, but in every action, you will find the same faces in the same place. You begin to have a sense of belonging, and you become more and more willing to sacrifice yourself for this group of people.

The Chance of a Lifetime!

Sometime after 8 pm on the 1st of July we were only one iron gate away from the Legco. Then the anti-riot police behind the iron gate suddenly retreated. At that time, I had mixed feelings:- On the one hand, I was worried that it might be a trap; on the other hand, I thought it was the chance of a lifetime, for which we had waited for 5 years.

Finally, we had the chance to publicly voice our demands. We wanted to tell the government clearly, "If you do not respond to her demands, if you do not heed our voice ,we will take you on straightaway." We also wanted to declare to the public that Hong Kong's rule of law is long dead.

"We selectively destroyed in the Legco"

We frontline activists had not planned what to do upon entering the building. One of our consensuses, though, was that we shall not damage the library and other cultural products that we shall target the root of the problem. For example, we smeared the emblem of the legislative council in order to tell people that its function is long gone.

Another example. We tore the basic law because it had never really been practiced properly and the National People's Congress had repeatedly distorted its original meaning.

Carrie Lam herself admitted the effectiveness of valiant activism

As a matter of fact, if not for the head-on confrontations on the 12th of June and the 1st of July, the Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam would not have temporarily suspended the Extradition Law on June 15, and declared the extradition bill dead for this term recently. [Carrie Lam herself admitted on June 15 that she postponed the Bill because she did not want to see any more police officers or civilians hurt as on June 12].

A Man without a Future

I'm taking no pay leave. Every night I dream of dirty cops knocking at my door and arresting me.

I cannot promise my lover anything, because I cannot guarantee her future, and I do not want to implicate her.

Sometimes I also think that if Hong Kong were not like that, I would I be a better son.

However, if I were given a second chance, I would make the same decision. I do not regret.

Ready to die

I'm psychologically prepared for being hit in the head and killed. I'm only concerned whether my death is worthwhile. We are ready for sacrifice of any degree.

I also want to tell those were going to the frontline that you have to understand that in each and every action you may break the law.

Although I am concerned about my own safety I would rather sacrifice myself to protect the entire movement and those young sprouts, those young secondary school students.

Why should this society force a 13 year old kid to risk being charged with rioting?

The youngest activist I have met was only 13 years old. He kept yelling that he wanted to fight on the frontline though he didn't have any gear. I asked him face to face, "Kid, do you know what you are doing?" "I do. I know that when I break the law I may be arrested, but my mum says, "As a human, you got to do the right things.'" he said. My heart ached terribly. I could only tell him "You're way too thin to be able to help us. Why don't you stand at the back and hand over helmets and umbrellas?" I was not relieved until he's willing to step back.

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